Wednesday, February 28, 2007

225. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

Track Listing

1. Black dog
2. Rock 'n' roll
3. Battle of Evermore
4. Stairway to Heaven
5. Misty mountain hop
6. Four sticks
7. Going to California
8. When the levee breaks


These guys were on a roll, this is their fourth album and the fourth album in a row to show up on the list. And they are all really good. Zeppelin's brand of heavy blues with some folk mixed into it makes for extremely compelling music. It's wild, fun and loud! And here they have some tenderness mixed in, particularly in Stairway and Battle of Evermore.

Who doesn't know this album? It is Led's most famous album and has one of the best known songs in the history of rock. So well known in fact, that it is the target of countless parodies and has become the epitome of the sensitive hard rock track. There is a reason for this however, Stariway is an amazing song, and it stays with you for hours after you've listened to it. The lyrics are gibberish but the composition is extremely strong.

The rest of the album is probably even better than Stairway, for the simple fact that it isn't as famous and you aren't over-saturated by it. When the Leeve Breaks is an epic to rival Stairway To Heaven, and other tracks rock hard. Black Dog, Rock and Roll and Four Sticks are particularly hard. Misty Mountain Hop is a great bit of fun, Going to California is a great blues track and Battle of Evermore has Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention in it! Albums don't come much better than this. Buy it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Stairway To Heaven
2. When The Leeve Breaks
3. Black Dog
4. Battle Of Evermore

Final Grade



The album was recorded at Island Records's newly opened studios in Basing Street, London, around the same time as Jethro Tull's Aqualung, and at Headley Grange, a remote Victorian house in East Hampshire, England, as well as Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, CA

After the fairly negative critical reaction Led Zeppelin III had received in the autumn of 1970, Page decided that the next album would not have a title, but would instead feature four hand-drawn symbols on the inner sleeve and record label, each one chosen by the band member it represents. Page explained, "We decided that on the fourth album, we would deliberately play down the group name, and there wouldn't be any information whatsoever on the outer jacket. Names, titles and things like that do not mean a thing."

These symbols are the official title of the album, and Atlantic Records initially distributed graphics of the symbols in many sizes to the press for inclusion in charts and articles. The album was the first to be produced without conventional identification, and this communicated an anti-commercial stance that was controversial at the time (especially among certain executives at Atlantic).

Led Zeppelin IV remains a perennial favorite on classic rock radio and features "Stairway to Heaven", one of the most famous and popular rock songs ever recorded. This was the band's third consecutive U.K. chart topper, and it reached #2 in the U.S., lasting 259 weeks on the chart there. During the track's 35 years of existence, its combined radio airplay in the United States alone has totaled over 50 years.

In 1998, Q magazine readers voted Led Zeppelin IV the 26th greatest album of all time, while in 2000 the same magazine placed it at number 26 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2003, the album was ranked number 66 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It is number 7 on Pitchfork Media's Top 100 Albums of the 1970s. A 2005 listener poll conducted by Toronto classic rock station Q107 (CILQ) named Led Zeppelin IV the #2 best classic rock album of all time. In 2006, the album was rated #1 on Classic Rock magazine's100 Greatest British Albums poll. In 2006, the album was rated # 1 on Guitar World 100 Greatest Albums, voted by the readers.

Stairway To Heaven Backwards! Go Satan! (how far fetched is this?):



Bola Oito said...


It's feckin' absurd. I never could understand how some people go for it, being shocked and all. It's so damn funny!

Bola Oito said...

Errr....i meant the so called "hidden satanical message" in the song of course. Not the album, which i also love dearly! LOL

Sorry for the mess.

Francisco Silva said...

Lol, I understood oyu the first time :)

Yeah, it's stupid, each person will hear what they want to hears and if they put the "lyrics" in front of you like in that film you will obviously be looking for them in the sound.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Hendrix never live to hear this album.